don't tell hell

EXCUSES: The Senate Just Knocked DADT’s Hearings Into Next Year

WASHINGTON-SUMMIT/

You thought the postponement of the House’s hearings on ENDA were frustrating? How about the Senate opting to delay hearings on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Well that’s what Sen. Carl Levin is doing, with a familiar excuse: they’re too busy!

Citing the priority of investigating the Ft. Hood massacre, Levin — the Democratic Michigan senator and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — says the expected December hearings on whether to repeal DADT will be bumped to 2010.

But! “This time is not being lost,” Levin told C-SPAN in a taped interview airing Sunday, pointing to the just-revealed (but apparently planned-for-months) strategy to attach a DADT repeal to the 2011 Defense Department budget bill, a la the Matthew Shepard Act being attached to 2010’s. So goes the theory: Since a repeal won’t happen for another year anyhow, why the pressure to hold hearings now?

Oh, and there’s this: “Levin said he did not know if an attempt would be made to attach a repeal to that bill or to another bill,” relays the Navy Times. (In October, Levin said repealing the bill “has to be done in the right way, which is to get a buy-in from the military, which I think is now possible.”)

And just as “insiders” have been spreading word around the Beltway that ENDA is going to happen later rather than sooner, so too it appears any opportunity to build momentum for DADT’s repeal will happen “down the road.”

So where do we stand in Washington with DADT’s repeal? Well, the House Armed Services Committee is supposedly planning hearings on a repeal, but no dates have been scheduled yet. And the Senate just punted the issue into next year. Happy hunting, soldiers!